I've been fascinated today by the writer / broadcaster Andrew Collins' response to the campaign hoping to take Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing In The Name Of' to Christmas Number One. If the campaign succeeds, then it'll be the first time in five years that the X-Factor winner hasn't sat pretty at the top of the charts on Christmas Day. Andrew is annoyed by this brouhaha. He explains his reasons here in his blog. Crikey, what a mess. He backtracks on himself midway through his opening argument. Quotes one tweet as if it's the voice of a group which now numbers 366,000 people on Facebook. Argues 'Why are we fighting Simon Cowell when we could be fighting Microsoft?' and similarly points out block voting is more powerful "when it's to do with things like elections or civil rights or referendums, as opposed to the number of singles being sold in a week." Well, err, yes Andrew, let's point out the bleedin' obvious.
I'm not here to ridicule or argue with Andrew. However it is who he is which makes this all the more fascinating. He broadcasts on BBC 6Music. He has written for NME and Select and Q. His autobiographies take their titles from song lyrics. Music's been the foundation of his career. He loves music.
Like all those who love music like he loves it know, on your way to discovering Wooden Shjips, Dirty Three and Sun Ra Arkestra there'll be some Deacon Blue, Carter USM and Coldplay on the way. I don't know which bands Andrew liked when he was a teenager but I hope he cared passionately about them. I'm sure he did. That's what music's about at that age - passion, puberty, anger, love, identity and rebellion. It's not only about what record you're buying but also when you're buying it and who else has it and who hasn't and who's in and who's out. You know all the lyrics to your favourite songs and you make sure everyone else knows you know. You give a shit.
Andrew seems to have forgotten all this. At least this week. He's begun saying what he feels is reasonable and rational - but he's talking about music. Reasonable and rational don't come into it.